Quinshon Judkins grew up less than an hour from Auburn’s campus - and Saturday was one heck of a homecoming for the sophomore from Pike Road, Alabama. The starting running back gained 124 yards and a decisive fourth quarter touchdown for a 28-21 Ole Miss win over Auburn.
This bloody Mary tastes especially damn good this morning.
Ole Miss (6-1, 3-1 SEC) is now 6-1 for a third straight season marking the best such streak since 1960-1962. It was also the first consecutive victories over Auburn (3-4, 0-4 SEC) since 1951-1952.
This game also marked a reunion of some sorts with former Rebel head coach Hugh Freeze who left the university amid a well documented NCAA and personal scandal. Freeze took over at Auburn after Bryan Harsin was fired, and Saturday’s game seemed to have a little personal nature to it if you saw this tweet from Auburn football.
Coach Freeze and a fan pic.twitter.com/enSMCxdL3F— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) October 21, 2023
OK, throwing a jab when it was clear Auburn wanted Kiffin so bad in the offseason is a move I guess. Ole Miss football didn’t waste an opportunity to fire back in the postgame.
Coach Freeze and the man who won https://t.co/LwTiFZ7qke— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 22, 2023
Judkins rushing touchdown came halfway through the fourth quarter to make the game 28-14, and fans likely were beginning to breathe a little easier. Auburn, however, woke up offensively for a 67-yard drive for touchdown to close the gap - up until this point, Ole Miss had held the Tigers to only 208 yards of offense.
At times, the Rebels looked every bit like a team who could dominate Auburn, and Ole Miss leaned on its best players (Judkins, Tre Harris and Jaxson Dart) to secure the win. Dart finished with three total touchdowns and 246 total yards of offense while Harris topped 100 yards receiving on four catches.
Dart did have an interception in the game on a pass that was behind Zakhari Franklin, tipped and landed in the hands of Donovan Kaufman. From where I was sitting, this one play got Auburn the momentum it needed to keep the game knotted in the first half, 14-14.
John Saunders Jr. and Zamari Walton each grabbed an interception of their own while Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste led the team in total tackles with seven. The Rebels totaled three sacks in the game and nine tackles for loss.
Next up for Ole Miss is homecoming against Vanderbilt on Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m.